Queensland is in a housing crisis like we haven't seen before in our lifetime. Working families are sleeping in cars and caravans. Brisbane has seen the steepest annual rent rises on record, and our regions have near zero vacancy rates.
These massive rent hikes aren’t just about covering costs for property investors – rents have risen at more than three times the rate of inflation. And Queensland's weak rental laws do nothing to stop this.
So in August 2022 I introduced legislation that would freeze rents in Queensland for two years.
The Greens' Bill will freeze all residential rents at their 1 August 2022 level for the next two years, regardless of whether a tenancy ends at that property. It also cap rents for new and recently renovated properties at the median rent for their postcode.
Rents will be frozen for all residential properties for 24 months from when the Bill is passed. At the end of the rent freeze period, rents will be capped such that they can only increase by a maximum of 2% every two years. This will give wages and incomes a chance to catch up to rents, and the state government the time to pursue long-term solutions to the housing affordability crisis
The Residential Tenancies Authority will maintain a register of rents based on tenancy agreements and leases. Where a written contract is not in place for a tenancy, the Bill will require the landlord to declare the rental amount to the Residential Tenancies Authority.
Anyone can dob in a dodgy landlord. If a tenant or a community member suspects a landlord is breaking the rental freeze, that person can apply to the RTA to determine the rental amount, and the tenant or community member can take the landlord to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Claims Tribunal. The RTA will also conduct random audits of rents at properties across Queensland.
Now to get this to happen, we need Queensland Labor's support for this legislation to pass.